Beautiful God (Genesis 1)

MOTIVATE

Imagine you are helping a family member move. You enter the attic and find a storage chest. It’s dusty, heavy and intriguing. You open it and find it filled with family heirlooms, pictures and several hand-written notes that tell about various family members. You go through every item piece by piece and before you know it you realize you are the owner of something beautiful – not something that is visible. It can’t be cleaned up, corrected or changed. It doesn’t necessarily have a set value but indeed is a priceless treasure in every way. What is this beautiful new item to enter your possession?
It’s a story. Every item in this storage chest tells a beautiful story of which you realize is not just any story, but The Story. The items become reminders that your life is not an accident or afterthought. In fact, you realize there is still room in the storage chest. A gentle nudge to let you know it is now your responsibility to add new items and continue the beautiful story. You see, history and heritages are not just dusty old items to be left in a box or shelf. They are meant to be engaged and enjoyed.

– – – God has given us a book of history, the Bible, but it’s more than history. It’s HiStory; God making Himself and humanity’s purpose known.

– – – Like artwork tells something about the artist, or a piece of music of its composer; so too creations tells us about the Creator – of His Person and Purpose.

EXAMINE             Genesis 1              3 truths about God’s Person & Purpose

The first book of the Bible, Genesis, takes its name from its first words, “In the beginning” as genesis means “beginning”. The book records the beginning of creation, human history as well as God calling a people unto Himself by faith. The author was Moses, by the power of the Holy Spirit, who wrote the first five books of the Bible known as the Pentateuch.

Why beautiful?

  1. God is beautiful. When you know the One who created, colors & clouds, lions & lizards, trees, touching, tears, and truth; then you know the greatest thing in all of life.
  2. God creates good and very good. All of creation is declared “good” and mankind “very good”. The meaning of this word indicates that which is happy, beneficial, aesthetically beautiful, morally righteous, preferable, of superior quality, or of ultimate value.[1]
  3. God wants to bless His creation and people. The word blessing and its derivatives appear over 80x in Genesis, which is more than any other book in all the Bible.[2] God’s blessing is a primary theme in the book of Genesis.
  4. God works life’s temptations and trials for good. God is working all things for good (Romans 8:28); whether it is blatant sin against God or providential circumstances. Therefore, we are view life as beautiful not burdensome (Genesis 50:20).
  5. Genesis is beautiful. Genesis, IMHO, is the most important book in the Bible. If you understand it then you have the framework for understanding all the rest of Scripture. One commentator said, if we possessed a Bible without Genesis, we would have a “house of cards”.[3]

 

Genesis gives us:

*Doctrine of God: God exists (Hebrews 11); Trinity (let us)

*Doctrine of Man: Adam made in God’s image

*Doctrine of Sin: Adam & Eve as sinners with its consequences of spiritual & physical death (Genesis 3)

*Doctrine of Salvation: God initiated by grace through faith in His promise (Genesis 3:15; 7:1-5; 12:1-3; 22:8; )

*Doctrine of Revelation: General revelation (creation in Genesis 1; Ps 19:1-6) and Special revelation (commands in Genesis 2; Ps 19:7-11)

*Doctrine of Eschatology (future end times): God will redeem people and circumstances (Genesis 3:15; 50:20)

Genesis is a brutally honest account of both God and mankind. It shows God not only as involved in creation, loving and merciful but also as holy, just and a wrathful judge. Likewise, man is created in God’s image, a very good climax to God’s creative activity. However, man also rebels and rejects God, resulting in conflict, hatred, rape, incest and even murder. Because Genesis shares these brutally honest accounts it is no doubt to be taken literally and true.

Genesis is not a myth or to be read symbolically, allegorically or merely spiritually poetic. Nothing in its content nor in the rest of Scripture points us to anything less than accepting it as 100% truth and accurate. I do not believe that Christianity and science are in conflict. I believe the Christian worldview shows God designing the world with great order and complex detail of which science supports. In other words, the scientific method without its anti-God bias will support and affirm the potential for the world to have both a beginning, a Creator Person and Purpose. One key to understanding this is to know the purpose and practice of reading Scripture. The Bible, much less the book of Genesis, is a theological narrative more than it is a book of history, science or any other subject. Indeed, it does give insight from history, science and other subjects; but its main purpose is to tell us about God. It is far more concerned with the Creator than creation (how and when). Genesis is not an exhaustive treatment of creation’s origin as it is a theological telling of the Creator Person and Purpose. As Galileo said, “The Holy Ghost intended to teach us how to go to heaven, not how the heavens go.”[4]
In this understanding, we can learn several truths about God’s Person and Purpose:

God is forever [eternally transcendent] (Genesis 1:1-2).

The Bible starts with the fact that God exists. Before anything was ever created, God existed. It reminds us of our previous message series in John’s Gospel

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.” John 1:1-3

 

Genesis 1:1 describes what scientists have searched for centuries.

“In the beginning [TIME], God [FORCE] created [MOTION] the heavens [SPACE] and the earth [MATTER]” Genesis 1:1

Evolution is simply man’s atheistic attempt to remove God. The secular world seeks to blur the lines between theory and truth. The simple fact is that evolutionists make a greater leap of faith than theism does in starting with a Creator.

C.S. Lewis wrote: – if world is complete chance or a catastrophe; how can we trust our minds?

If the solar system was brought about by an accidental collision, then the appearance of organize life on this planet was also an accident, and the whole evolution of Man was an accident to. If so, then all our present thoughts are accidents – the accidental by-product of the movement of atoms. And this holds for the thoughts of the materialists and astronomers as well as for anyone else’s. But if their thoughts are merely accidental by-products, why should we believe them to be true? I see no reason for believing that one accident should be able to give me a correct account of all the other accidents.[5]

Reason, is valueless if it is the result of irrational cause. Hence every theory of the universe which makes the human mind a result of irrational causes is inadmissible, for it would be a proof that there are no such things as proofs. Which is nonsense. But Naturalism, as commonly held, is precisely a theory of this sort.[6]

Christian worldview of theism only logical. Evolution is theoretic assumption; though difference in understanding micro- and macro evolution:

Micro-evolution that species adapt to survive in environment is a common grace of God as a result of the Fall. While macro-evolution that species can evolve into another entirely is counter to Scripture and as recent criticism has shown to scientific theory as well.

–          Macro says nothing made everything. No-thing causes every-thing.

–          Macro says chaos made order. Cataclysmic disorder and chance resulted in beautiful, detailed creation.

  • Statistically probability of a Boeing 747 being assembled by a hurricane roaring thru junkyard (Fred Hoyle in – Doctrine, 99)
  • Watch parts in shaken bag to eventually make a watch.
  • Southern saying – it’s like seeing a frog on a fence ; –  someone put it there!
  • Fine-tuning of world: earth’s distance from sun, moon, other planets, etc. are in extremely narrow degrees for the existence of life – not random! (Collins in Doctrine, 101)

–          Macro says impersonal matter made personal humanity; yet immaterial things such as emotion, intelligence, and moral reasoning cannot come from impersonal matter.

Indeed, the burden of proof is on naturalism to explain the illogical; whereas Christian worldview shows an eternal, transcendent yet personal and beautiful Creator made us in His image for His glory.

God is powerful [creation out of nothing – ex nihilo] (Genesis 1:3-25).

The Genesis account shows God creating the world with words. No less than 13x does God speak and when He does there is powerful action and motion. God’s creative work is “bara” which means creation or initiation from nothing [ex nihilio]; whereas man’s creating is “asah”, which means making or shaping an object. Hebrews 11:3, “By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.”

God speaks the world into existence, He commands light, sky, water, land, seas, sun, moon, stars, fish, birds, animals. They all obey Him! Furthermore, whatever He creates, He evaluates (“it was good”). He is a God to be feared but He’s not a foe!

The point of God’s power is we should fear/trust Him.

Psalm 33:6-9, 18-19   “By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, and by the breath of his mouth all their host. He gathers the waters of the sea as a heap; he puts the deeps in storehouses. Let all the earth fear the Lord; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him! For he spoke, and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood firm… Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear him, on those who hope in his steadfast love, that he may deliver their soul from death and keep them alive in famine.”

 

God is beautifully personal [let us make man in our image] (Genesis 1:26-31).

This entire creation account teaches us about the Creator. The climax of God’s creation is humanity. We see the beginning theology of a triune God (elohim – plural name), existing in perfect divine community to be shared in His creation. From other Scriptures we discover the fulfillment of each Person of the Trinity involved at creation.

Father created (ps 19:1; acts 17:28; 1cor 8:6)

Son created (John 1:1-3, 10;Col1:16-17)

Spirit created (Gen 1:2; Job 26:13)

God created the world beautiful. Air and oxygen exist by trees rather than filter machines; multi-colored pallete & high def/4-d images rather than b&w, flat structures. Splendor, wonder and beauty in all of creation.

God created humanity beautiful. Unlike everything in creation He made humanity in His own image. This means that humans are not an accident or an afterthought but are special and have a unique purpose. Mankind is to reflect God’s image in our lives.

? If God is all powerful, why did God take 5 days before finally making mankind?

APPLY/THINK

***He made us to worship

“For by him [Jesus], all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities – all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” Colossians 1:16-17

 


[1] Mathews, K. A. (2001, c1995). Vol. 1A: Genesis 1-11:26 (electronic ed.). Logos Library System; The New American Commentary (22).Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

[2] Mark Driscoll, “Genesis: Meditations on Moses’ Mosaic”, p.12. Found at http://assets.marshillchurch.org/media/Audio/Genesis%20Booklet%20indd.pdf

[3] Ibid.

[4] Quote found in Mark Driscoll’s, Doctrine: What Christians Should Believe. p.81

[5] God in the Dock, 52-53.

[6] Miracles, p.21

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